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Stories Behind The Fog

Humanizing homelessness in San Francisco, one story at a time.

Photo of Alex Basa
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Stories Behind The Fog is a transmedia project designed to tell the stories of individuals who have been affected by homelessness in the Bay Area. The goal of  this project is to challenge the single minded view towards homelessness that plagues our nation.

Our project is a collaboration of humanitarian writers, photographers, and homeless advocates that share our passion of breaking the stigma of homelessness. We have documented 76 stories on storiesbehindthefog.com covering a broad spectrum of homelessness, and ultimately, one hundred stories will be published in a book in Winter 2017.

We also encourage other storytellers to connect with the people we feature and take their narratives further, through any form of art. We believe these stories have the power to make the public connect with one of our most critical domestic issues, and to add to the dialogue on homelessness held by politicians, public and private agencies, educators and activists.

We have been working closely with ten non-profits in the Bay Area, as well as dozens of collaborative writers and photographers that share our passion to confront this crucial issue, through art.

The genesis for Stories Behind The Fog was the filming of Moses—a feature length documentary that follows an unhoused man and his journey of absolution on the streets—which proved human interaction has the potential to pierce the barrier of homelessness.

Explain your idea

Stories Behind The Fog originated in San Francisco, CA, where we are documenting and collecting the stories of one hundred people who have experienced, or have been affected by, homelessness in the Bay Area. With the population of citizens on the streets exceeding 7,000 in San Francisco alone, this project aims to challenge a single-minded view of homelessness by rendering its entire spectrum, one story at a time. By publishing the stories of these individual homeless advocates, we are able to break the barrier that separates the housed from the homeless. Too many times we find ourselves effortlessly ignoring—labeling those who call the streets their home. We aim to shatter the stereotype by creating a firsthand, first-person insight into their lives through our stories. Goals -To challenge the single-minded view of homelessness by rendering its entire spectrum through storytelling. -To publish a book with 100 stories of people that are or have been homeless, as a means to raise awareness, fundraise and amplify the message of the homeless outreach organizations we partner with. -To involve the voice of artists in the debate around homelessness, by providing the go-to platform for artists to find inspiring stories through the nonprofits we collaborate with. Beneficial outcomes -Connecting the residents of the Bay Area in an engaging and inspiring way with homelessness—one of the most prevalent issues in the US—through the power of personal storytelling. Through art, we show that homelessness isn’t just a domestic issue - it’s a human issues that plays a role in our everyday life. -Supporting the homeless individuals we interview to get back on their feet by providing them with dignity, and acknowledgement from the community. -Amplifying the message of the homeless outreach organizations we partner with, such as The Gubbio Project (the nation’s first shelter to allow sleep during the day) and North Beach Citizens—founded by Francis Ford Coppola, who has secured stable housing for hundreds of people; Hamilton Families, ending family homelessness; LLA Build, a boarding school for homeless youth at risk; and Downtown Streets Team, ending homelessness through the dignity of work. We deliberately work with a wide range of non-profits to cover the broad variety of services that are needed for all different target groups. -Fundraise for the homeless outreach organizations we partner with. -Involve the voice of artists in the debate around homelessness, by providing the go-to platform for artists to find inspiring stories through the nonprofits we collaborate with.

Who Benefits?

Our beneficiaries are non-profits that are also passionate about this cause and have manifested their own programs to battle against the issue of homelessness. Our project will act as a fundraiser to further assist them in achieving their own goals. Non-profits such as North Beach Citizens, the Gubbio Project, San Francisco Revival Ministry, LLABUILD, Downtown Streets Team, Hamilton Families, Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco, The Healing WELL, and TAKING IT TO THE STREETS have teamed up with us.

How is your idea unique?

Our idea has been compared to projects like Humans of New York, since we also rely heavily on photographs and stories; singling out individuals in a large, bustling city and compiling them into a book. What makes our idea different, however, is the strict focus on those who reside on the streets of San Francisco; those who are otherwise invisible to the average preoccupied citizen. Our project identically sheds a light on personal, inspiring stories, but with the goal of amplifying the crucial issue of homelessness that plagues one of the biggest cities in America.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

Tell us more about you

We are an organization that prides itself in dedicating themselves to creating projects and programs that endeavor to influence society and advocate genuine, positive change in the world. We are based in San Francisco, CA. Our team of writers and photographers are working diligently to conduct interviews, record media, and write stories to bring this idea to life. We also have a vast, expansive list of collaborators that share our stories through their own art and creative outlets. Aside from our primary team, we also collaborate with many non-profit partners such as North Beach Citizens, the Gubbio Project, San Francisco Revival Ministry, LLABUILD, Downtown Streets Team, Hamilton Families, Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco, The Healing WELL, and TAKING IT TO THE STREETS, who are also working against this matter.

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years
  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

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Photo of Nick
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Great read keep up the good work

Photo of Alex Basa
Team

Thank you!

Photo of Fatma
Team

Great work.  Are you able to implement this in other countries?

Photo of Alex Basa
Team

We definitely would love to expand the bandwidth of the project past its current scope!